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 Hank Virgona  (1929 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: illustrator, etcher, still life, figure

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Ad Code: 4
Hank Virgona
An example of work by Hank Virgona
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY See Details
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is submitted by the artist:

Born in Brooklyn on the eve of the Great Depression, October 1929. Hank Virgona did not evince an active interest in art until he left the Army some 23 years later.
While he did attend a few evening art classes, his main influences were: (1) the book, "The Natural Way to Draw" by Kimon Nicolaides; (2) frequent visits to museums and (3) constant drawing from life: on the subway, street, parks, etc. This comprised his "school" and extrapolating from these experiences, he slowly developed his own method of work.

His early ambition was to be an illustrator, and his forays into illustrating led to many commissions from magazines including "Fortune", "Harpers", "Argosy", "Seventeen", et. al as well as newspapers, especially "The New York Time"s 'Op Ed' page and for these he received a number of awards including the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.

His satirical works skewing various power centers were published worldwide, and his etchings were compiled in a book, "The System Works" (Da Capo Press) for which he also wrote several essays. In its introduction, Pete Hamill said "He is on the side of Goya and Daumier, George Grosz and Kathe Kollwitz."

In the late 60s, he gave up commercial work to concentrate on his own ideas, which gradually evolved mainly into still lifes in which the objects became metaphors for his feelings. This holds true for his figurative work as well.

Since the early 70s, Virgona has had over 25 one-man exhibitions in the United States and has exhibited in many more group shows both in the USA and Europe. He has received a number of awards and purchase prizes from: The National Academy of Design, N.Y.; The National Art Club, N.Y.; Print Magazines "Twelve Best of the Year", Pratt Graphic Center, N.Y. among others as well as a grant from the Kantor Platt Foundation.

His work can be found in a number of prestigious public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y., The Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library Print and Drawing Collection, Wichita Museum of Art, Skidmore College Print Collection, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Collections.

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